Franco Albini in the heart of Milan | Fuori Salone 2018
Fabio Noli 11 April 2018

Lines and space: Interiors of Franco Albini

a free exhibition of Franco Albini’s artworks


On the occasion of the 2018 Fuori Salone, Cambi Auction House and the Franco Albini Foundation are participating in the Brera Design District with an exhibition of Franco Albini’s unpublished works. The exhibition will be open from April 17th to April 22nd and a theatrical performance on the history of Italian Design will take place on the evening of April 19th.

Admission to the event is free of charge and for any information it is possible to contact



Franco Albini - A lounge with a sofa and two armchairs.
Franco Albini – Franco Albini – A lounge with a sofa and two armchairs. Wooden structure and fabric upholstery. Italian production, 1950 ca

The Exhibition

During the Milan Design Week, in its brand-new location in via San Marco 22 in the heart of Brera, Cambi presents a free exhibition dedicated to unique pieces designed by the great architect.
The structure of the exhibition is designed as to recreate the atmospheres and the settings in which Albini lived and worked and the gallery spaces are enriched by several Modern Art paintings.


Franco Albini - Dining table with wooden structure and top
Franco Albini – Dining table with wooden structure and top. Italian production, 1950 ca


All the pieces presented in the exhibition will be auctioned in the two upcoming design auctions in May and June. Visitors will also have the chance to see a preview of the works of Cambi’s springtime auctions, where several interesting lots of Oriental Art, Jewelry and Watches are exhibited.


Franco Albini - Four armchairs with a wooden structure
Franco Albini – Four armchairs with a wooden structure and fabric upholstery. Italian production, 1950 ca.


The Performance


On the evening of Thursday, April 19th, at 8 PM, in the great hall of via San Marco 22, the theatrical performance “Il Coraggio del Proprio Tempo. Uomini e Valori del movimento moderno” will be staged, directed by Paola Albini and performed by Enrico Ballardini, a tale of the values underlying the birth of the Modern Movement and the origin of Design, that presents an overview of Italy between the two wars and of the intellectuals of the time.


Locandina spettacolo “Il Coraggio del Proprio Tempo. Uomini e valori del movimento moderno”


The texts are completed by pieces written by Albini, Pagano, Persico, BBPR, Ponti, Palanti, Gardella and several others and are accompanied by videos and photos of the time to illustrate the political and cultural climate during the Fascist years and to tell the story of Rationalism in Italy, of the central role played by the city of Milan and of the lives of men who fought against a totalitarian regime to create a Movement of social redemption, sometimes paying with their own lives for their choices of freedom and independence.

Within the performance, spoken word and music intertwine and songs by Gaber, Jannacci, Strehler and Silvestri stand side by side with the music composed and performed ad hoc by master Alessandro Nidi.


Franco Albini Architect of interiors


All of us interior designers owe something to Albini, although he’s younger than many of us. Perhaps because he began early, but never drifted away from his persistent and coherent research. He followed his own path without deviating. His style is precise and dry even when it originates from a constructive research to evade within shapes that, while controlled, achieve aesthetic paroxysms and subtle elegances. Albini has become a symbol, a trademark.”
(C. Pagani, Albini arredatore, in “Spazio”, 6, December 1951 – April 1952)

As was the case in the set-up of the Carati Boggeri household, when he is assigned the interior design for an apartment or a villa, Franco Albini doesn’t just curate the layout of the rooms, rather he devotes great attention and care to the design of several items of furniture.
Preceding the birth of Industrial Design, he develops a series of unique pieces, to this day mostly unpublished, specifically thought up for private buyers.
He then suggests combining them with other objects of his own choice, contemporary or antique, in a constant quest for balance within the mingling of styles.


Franco Albini - large table with a lacquered metal structure
Franco Albini – A large table with a lacquered metal structure and a slate base. One of a kind. Italian production, 1950 ca.

Franco Albini perceives the home as a place that is open to “expositive invention”, a place where it is possible to experiment with the “art of handing” objects, where “the matter of interior design takes on decisive importance as a matter that is typically, unquestionably architectonic”

Taking off from the reality of everyday life, he addresses matters of living in the search for solutions that, taking advantage of cutting-edge techniques and materials, are able to create spaces rich in suggestion, akin to the experimentations carried out in setting up exhibitions and trade fair halls.

His projects express a poetic rationalism both in the great rigor proven by the focus placed on the study of details, both in the creation of “spatial atmospheres” in which objects, suspended amidst bright chromatic compositions, critically interpret the signs of time and pave the way to future innovations.

Elena Albricci




Fabio Noli